So District 9, which features tremendously showy make-up effects, in a genre this branch has never shied away from, in a critically acclaimed film that also was nominated for Best Picture, in a year without much competition in this category, doesn't get a nomination. Bizarre.
I'm looking forward to seeing how the Oscar producers showcase the makeup in The Young Victoria during the ceremony. I can't remember a single memorable thing about the makeup or hair work in the film -- it seemed pretty much basic period work to me.
I assume the nomination for Il Divo comes from the transformation of actor Toni Servillo into the famous prime minister...but I'm not too familiar with the actor's work (haven't seen Gomorrah yet), and think voters, unaware of what the actor actually looks like, simply might not be able to tell what's makeup. Obviously this is a testament to the quality of the makeup -- it's not noticeable as a "transformation" -- but it's unlikely to help it triumph here. Plus, the low profile/subtitles are a killer when you've got...
...Star Trek on the ballot. I don't think the makeup work is a total knockout -- aside from some Spock ears and Eric Bana's creepy look, there's not an overwhelming amount of makeup in the film. But what's there is fun, and the re-imagining of iconic characters will surely win it votes. Plus, the film was a popular hit, and decently reviewed, and I'd be stunned if it lost to either of its under-the-radar competitors.